Mongel dog cop killers get eye-balled by colleagues, family and friends of slain police officer Bryson Anderson and ball their eyes out.
By court reporter Karl Hoerr
One by one, those closest to Bryson Anderson rose to speak at the sentencing hearing for Mitchell and Fiona Barbieri.
The 45-year-old Detective Inspector was fatally stabbed during a siege of a home at Oakville in Sydney’s north-west.
His 13-year-old son told the court he has been denied the rite of passage of having his father teach him to shave.
“I had to learn this skill alone, without him by my side,” he said.
He spoke about his difficulties enjoying cricket, something he used to share with his father.
You should save the tears that you have shed from the dock. You will not be forgivenBryson Anderson’s brother, Warwick Anderson
His mother, Fiona Barbieri, has pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of mental illness and showed little emotion.
The officer’s brother, Warwick Anderson, addressed Mitchell Barbieri directly.
“You should save the tears that you have shed from the dock. You will not be forgiven,” Mr Anderson said.
Widow Donna Anderson said she had lost her best friend.
“I never contemplated how it would feel to be on the other side of a police investigation,” she said.
Colleagues who witnessed the attack spoke of their guilt and extreme difficulty returning to work.
Sergeant Adam Fitzgibbon said: “At times, I question myself. How did I let this happen to Bryson?”
Senior Constable Neil Constable said Detective Anderson had praised his work just hours before he was murdered.
“He told me to keep it up and keep locking up the crooks,” he said.
Justice Robert Allan Hulme appeared visibly moved by the statements.
“It’s simply astounding that such a senseless act can have so many victims,” he said.
The sentencing hearing continues.
Mother and son to stand trial for stabbing murder of Sydney police officer Bryson Anderson
A mother and son have been committed to stand trial for the stabbing murder of Sydney police officer Bryson Anderson.
Fiona Barbieri, 46, and her 20-year-old son Mitchell Barbieri are accused of killing Detective Inspector Anderson when he was called to a neighbourhood dispute at Oakville in Sydney’s north-west in 2012.
They are charged with murder and wounding with intent to resist arrest.
In Central Local Court magistrate Chris O’Brien has ordered them to stand trial in February 2014.
Police say they went to the property in December 2012 after an urgent call from a neighbour.
The officer was one of a large contingent of police called to the Oakfield home to attend a heated dispute between neighbours.
They say the Barbieri’s fired arrows at them from the house.
Officers say when the Detective Inspector tried to negotiate with them he was stabbed in the neck by Mitchell Barbieri and his mother Fiona Barbieri hit the officer with a hammer.
Magistrate O’Brien said after hearing the evidence there is a “reasonable prospect” a jury would “convict the accused”.
The mother and son have not yet entered a plea to the charges but will be required to in February.
Outside court members of his family told reporters they are pleased the Barbieri’s will stand trial.
Police officer in tears
During the committal hearing today police officer Constable Hannah Watson broke down in tears while giving evidence.
She told the hearing she thought her duty officer had been punched, because she could not see a weapon in Mitchell Barbieri’s hand.
When the officer began sobbing the court was adjourned to allow her to compose herself.
One officer described Fiona Barbieri screaming at police to leave, using foul language.
In court two new charges of resisting arrest were laid against the mother and son.
‘He deserves to f****** die': Court hears how police-killing mother and son shouted as their victim died… before emailing Russian president Vladimir Putin demanding asylum
- Fiona Barbieri, and her son Mitchell, pleaded guilty to killing Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson in 2012
- Following her arrest, Fiona defended their actions as self-defence during a police interview
- The Barbieris had also sent emails to Tony Abbott and Mr Putin, saying: ‘We have every right to defend ourselves, our family and our property’
- Inspector Anderson died after he was stabbed by then 19-year-old Mitchell Barbieri following a siege at their rural Oakville property
- As he lay dying, the court heard that Fiona was heard yelling, ‘it’s his own f****** fault… he deserves to f****** die’
- His family remember him as a larrikin with a great sense of humour
- He also volunteered as a firefighter and in the Special Olympics
A Sydney mother, who pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of a police officer in 2012, sent emails to the Prime Minister and the Russian President in which she defended herself and demanded asylum.
Fiona Barbieri, 47, and her 21-year-old son Mitchell, attended their sentencing hearing in Sydney’s Supreme Court on Wednesday, where the full details surrounding the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson were revealed.
Inspector Anderson died after he was fatally stabbed by then 19-year-old Mitchell Barbieri following a siege at a rural Oakville property in Sydney’s north-west on December 6, 2012.
The police interview of Fiona Barbieri after her arrest in 2012, following the death of a policeman at her property in Sydney’s north-west, was shown to Sydney’s Supreme Court on Wednesday
The 41-year-old and her 21-year-old son Mitchell (pictured) pleaded guilty to killing Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson
During a police interview following the Barbieri’s arrests in 2012, the 47-year-old mother who is believed to have been suffering from paranoid schizophrenia, told officers that Inspector Anderson had been killed in self-defence before demanding asylum in Russia.
In the footage of the police interview attained by Channel Nine, Fiona is heard saying: ‘what happened at our house today, where we were ambushed by an army of police officers, was self-defence.’
She is then handed a telephone by the officers who allow her to call the consulate, to whom she says: ‘It is the Barbieris, president Putin, SOS Australia.’
According to Channel Nine, Fiona was advised by the consulate to forward her request via email, after which she refused to answer further questions from the policemen.
In the police interview, Fiona is handed a telephone after demanding asylum in Russia. Police allowed her to call the consulate, to whom she says: ‘It is the Barbieris, president Putin, SOS Australia’
‘We are living here in convict Australia, corrupt convict Australia, and we have been doing our best to get out,’ she told officers.
‘The New South Wales police force is corrupt – that is what we have been standing up against and that is why we are in here today.’
Crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that Fiona and her son had been embroiled in a long-running dispute with their neighbour, which had been fuelled by Ms Barbieri’s paranoia.
On December 6, the tension spiralled out of control when the Barbieris spotted that Mr Waters was installing flood lights on his property.
Fiona – swinging a baseball bat – and Mitchell – armed with a crossbow – confronted the electricians working for Mr Waters.
Mitchell fired two arrows, narrowly missing them both, before he and his mother retreated into their home.
As the first police arrived, the court heard the Barbieris sent an email to a number of politicians, including then opposition leader Tony Abbott and Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying: ‘We have every right to defend ourselves, our family and our property.’
Just over an hour later, it had become a ‘siege situation’ with Fiona and Mitchell screaming at police to ‘f*** off’.
Det Insp Anderson ordered the door to be kicked in and was stabbed twice by Mitchell – once in the cheek and fatally to the chest, Mr Tedeschi said.
As he lay dying, the court heard that Fiona was heard screaming, ‘it’s his own f****** fault.. he fucking deserved it… let the dog c*** die… he deserves to f****** die’.
The policemans wife Donna, said her husband absolutely adored their three children
Bryson Anderson with his wife Donna and children from left to right – Darcy, Cain and Olivia
On the morning they were due to stand trial last week, Mitchell pleaded guilty to the officer’s murder, while his mother – who suffers from paranoid schizophrenia – pleaded guilty to manslaughter on the grounds of substantial impairment.
Under legislation passed before parliament, a person convicted of the murder of a police officer while on duty faces a mandatory life sentence.
But Mr Tedeschi said this was not a situation where life imprisonment should apply as Mitchell was influenced by his mother’s delusions.
‘He (Mitchell) had been under the influence of his mother … and her delusions had to some degree been transferred to him,’ Mr Tedeschi said.
Olivia, Cain and Darcy could not speak highly enough of their deceased father
Instead, he said the crown would be seeking a ‘very lengthy’ sentence.
Earlier in the month, Inspector Anderson’s family honoured the man who was a much-loved husband and father of three.
Bryson’s widow Donna Anderson and their three children Olivia, Darcy and Cain could not wipe the smiles off their faces when they told fond stories of how Bryson was always the larrikin of the family.
‘There was the policeman side to him which was incredibly serious – he took his job very seriously -but there was the family side of him where he was just the clown in every family gathering,’ Donna told Channel Nine’s ACA.
‘He just absolutely adored his kids,’ she said. He was a typical dad – he loved dad jokes and if he could embarrass the kids in front of their friends that was even better.’
Police officers and family attend the funeral of the slain officer at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Parramatta in 2012
The family privately continue to struggle with their loss, and it will be some time before they finally come to terms with the tragedy
His three children could not speak highly enough of their father.
‘He would totally just love life – it was awesome,’ his only daughter Olivia said. ‘Yes, he liked to embarrass us.’
His eldest son, Darcy said he was a great dad who was always a joker.
‘He photo bombed a lot – my first cricket game in my photo – he was in the background,’ he said.
‘Cricket is my life – me and dad built the pitch out the front in 2003 I think.’
‘We got tonnes of dirt and just rolled it and got it all padded down and I just keep mowing it in.’
‘He would totally just love life – it was awesome,’ his only daughter Olivia (left) said. ‘Yes, he liked to embarrass us’
Bryson’s family described him as a joker who had a great sense of humour
‘He was always a joker – he photo-bombed a lot,’ his youngest son Cain said.
While being dedicated to his family and career, he also managed to squeeze in volunteering with the Special Olympics, travelling to Vanuatu to give gifts to children and also volunteering as a firefighter.
‘He would come home from the police sometimes he would only be there for an hours or so and then the bells would go off and he would go out to a fire call and he did that for nine years,’ Donna said.
During the committal hearing last year, a number of police officers broke down as they recalled the murder.
At Detective Inspector Anderson’s 2012 funeral, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said the decorated officer was admired by his fellow officers for his tenacity and determination, as well as his empathy and compassion.
‘He showed initiative and leadership; intelligence and perseverance; dedication and humility; and, memorably, a ready smile and an engaging way.
‘Bryson drew people to him, without guile and without effort.’
The matter will return to court later this month.
Mother and son Fiona and Mitchell Barbieri plead not guilty to Sydney policeman Bryson Anderson’s murder
Fiona and Mitchell Barbieri formally entered their pleas in the NSW Supreme Court this morning ahead of their trial later this year.
The 46-year-old and her 20-year-old son were charged after the death of Detective Inspector Bryson Anderson at Oakville on Sydney’s north-western outskirts in December 2012.
Inspector Anderson was part of a large contingent of police called to attend a heated neighbourhood dispute.
Police say the Barbieri’s fired arrows at them from their house.
Inspector Anderson then tried to negotiate with the pair for several minutes, when he was allegedly stabbed in the neck by Mitchell Barbieri and hit with a hammer by Fiona Barbieri.
The 45-year-old officer was rushed by paramedics to Windsor Hospital but died soon afterwards.
The Barbieris have also pleaded not guilty to additional charges laid late last year of wounding with intent to resist arrest.
In an earlier hearing a fellow officer who witnessed Inspector Anderson’s death broke down in court as she recalled the events.
Constable Hannah Watson told the court she initially thought her duty officer had been punched, because she could not see a weapon in Mitchell Barbieri’s hand.
Mother, son admit to killing police officer Bryson Anderson
A mother and son have pleaded guilty to killing a New South Wales police officer called to their home in Sydney’s north-west.
According to police, Mitchell Barbieri, 21, and his 47-year-old mother, Fiona, barricaded themselves inside their Oakville home when New South Wales police officer Bryson Anderson responded to an urgent call from neighbours in December 2012.
They say the pair fired arrows at the officer and attacked the 45-year-old with a knife and a hammer.
Mitchell Barbieri pleaded guilty to murdering Anderson, while Fiona Barbieri pleaded not guilty to murder but guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
Prosecutors accepted her guilty plea to the lesser charge because she had “a substantial impairment brought about by an abnormality of mind” at the time.
The pair made their pleas in the Supreme Court the day their six-week trial was due to start.
They will return to court next week for a sentencing hearing.
Anderson, who held the rank of Detective Inspector, was one of several officers who attended the Barbieris’ home after reports of a feud between neighbours.
Colleagues say that when he tried to negotiate with the family, he was stabbed in the neck by Mitchel Barbieri and hit with a hammer by his mother.
EVENTS CAN BE FOUND HERE http://www.whiteribbon.org.au/events
All women live in safety free from all forms of men’s violence.
Making women’s safety a man’s issue too.
Globally, White Ribbon is the world’s largest male-led movement to end men’s violence against women. Originating in Canada in 1991, White Ribbon is now active in more than 60 countries.
White Ribbon Australia observes the International Day of the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day, annually on November 25. White Ribbon Day signals the start of the 16 Days of Activism to Stop Violence against Women, which ends on Human Rights Day (December 10).
Thousands march in Melbourne against family violence amid calls for health officials to do more
One woman is killed by a violent partner each week in Australia.
Two of the leading figures in the fight against family violence, Victorian Police Commissioner Ken Lay and Rosie Batty, led more than 1,000 people through the streets of Melbourne today in a march to stop violence against women.
On the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, Mr Lay said Australia could not arrest its way out of the situation.
“I think that for far too long family violence and resolving family violence has been left in the hands of police,” he said.
“We cannot simply arrest our way out of this. We need to change attitudes, it’s in the schooling, it’s in families.
“Clearly, fathers and mothers have got a responsibility to teach their children about gender inequity, teach their children to treat each other decently.
“They are partly responsible for this, no doubt.”
There were also calls for doctors and health officials to do much more to stop family violence, with new research published in The Lancet.
Professor Kelsey Hegarty, who co-authored the Lancet paper, is a GP and the head of primary care at the University of Melbourne’s Department of General Practice.
She said the health system needed to be more focussed and streamlined when it came to addressing family violence.
“What we’re really looking for health professionals to do is provide a first line response that listens, validates, acknowledges what women and girls have been through in terms of violence against women and provides them with a pathway to safety and healing,” she said.
“To do that we need to strengthen the role of the health sector.”
Health sector ‘lacks awareness, training’ in family violence
In January 2013 Professor Hegarty called for GPs to be trained to recognise signs of domestic violence.
Since then, she said the health system had been slow to recognise the need for change.
“I think there’s been a large movement in the awareness in community campaigns with the development of Our Watch and other activities through White Ribbon,” she said.
“So I think people are becoming more aware that domestic violence or family violence is a problem in our community.
“What we haven’t found is the health sector responding.
We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.Professor Kelsey Hegarty
“We haven’t got regular training or supervisional mentorship in medical nursing or public health or other curricular on a regular basis.
“We haven’t got very large awareness as a result of a lack of training among health care providers.”
Professor Hegarty said substantial system and behavioural barriers existed in the health system.
“We haven’t got an enabling policy environment,” she said.
The Lancet paper examined five country case studies, including India and Spain, and how they responded and dealt with family violence.
Professor Hegarty said developing low-income countries such as India had made progress in addressing family violence in conjunction with their HIV-AIDs strategy.
“In fact, it’s been interesting to look at people who have done violence interventions attached to health interventions for HIV,” she said.
“That’s been showing some promise in a way we haven’t had those epidemics like that, and therefore I think health has been a little bit behind.”
She said Australia had a large focus on the national plan, which has been excellent to prevent violence against women and children.
“(But) it needs a whole spectrum across the ecological model from the community,” she added.
“(An) ecological model goes from a community to an individual, and often a health practitioner is seeing someone at an individual level. We need everybody to be activated.”
White Ribbon Day sparks more than 1,000 events across Australia in campaign against domestic violence
Prime Minister Tony Abbott has praised the involvement of Australia’s military in White Ribbon Day, saying it sends a signal that strong men protect others and do not condone domestic violence.
Speaking at a White Ribbon Day function in Canberra, Mr Abbott said shocking statistics associated with domestic violence crimes prompted the Government to allocate $100 million as part of an action plan to combat violence against women.
“It’s really good to see the participation of our armed forces in White Ribbon Day … because the presence of our armed forces, the presence of our police is a sign that tough, strong men protect others, they don’t persecute them. That the toughest and the strongest men are peacemakers, not brutes,” he said.
“Every week a woman dies somewhere in our country in a domestic context. One woman in three will experience violence at some stage of her life.
“One woman in five will experience sexual violence at some stage in her life. It’s just wrong. It must stop,” he said.
“Government has a role to play, that’s why this Government is investing some $100 million in our Second Action Plan to combat violence against women.”
Army chief Lieutenant-General David Morrison told a White Ribbon breakfast in Adelaide stories about the ANZAC spirit also needed a greater focus on the women who were involved.
He said many stories about World War I focused on stories about Anglo Saxon men.
“Unless they’re (women) included in the story, I think what we run the risk of is compounding this idea that Australia is a man’s country, a man’s world, where men get ahead,” he said.
“Men are promoted on their potential, women are only ever promoted on their proven performance. I don’t think we’re going to progress as a nation if that’s the case.”
Luke Batty death brought issue home for victims
White Ribbon ambassador John Caldwell told the ABC’s Breakfast program the tragic death of 11-year-old Luke Batty at the hands of his father earlier this year had brought the issue to the forefront of people’s minds.
“When I saw his (Luke’s) photo and I thought, ‘that could have been me,’ and never before have I really thought of myself as one of the lucky ones, but that made me feel like I was one of the lucky ones,” Mr Caldwell said.
Mr Caldwell was nominated as Australian of the Year for Victoria in 2014 and said the nomination of Luke’s mother Rosie Batty for Australian of the Year in 2015 helped to highlight why the issue of domestic violence should be taken seriously.
It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours.White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies.
“I grew up in Melbourne in a house that was plagued by domestic violence,” he said.
“I guess as a kid hiding under the bed I always felt so helpless and now as an adult, I don’t need to. I get to take back the power that I lost as a kid, but also to educate other children that you don’t have to stay silent yourself.
“Even for kids, there are people you can talk to. As a child, hiding under a bed hearing screams outside and not sure what you will find when you eventually walk out – I used to liken it to, as the eye of a cyclone. It would go quiet. Is it safe to go out? And then it erupts again.”
Mr Caldwell said nobody came to help despite people knowing what was happening and White Ribbon Day was about breaking that silence.
“It was known what was going on outside of the house and nobody would do anything, and that’s why White Ribbon Day is so important, because it is a male-led campaign,” he said.
White Ribbon chief executive Libby Davies said more than 1,000 events would be held across Australia to promote White Ribbon Day, including a walk through Melbourne’s CBD by members of both the Melbourne and Richmond Football Clubs as part of the Walk Against Family Violence.
“It is about men leading the action because most of this violence against women is perpetrated by men, and so men need to be speaking to their mates and using their influence to change those attitudes and behaviours,” she said.
NSW Assistant Police Commissioner Mark Murdoch said several hundred people, mostly men, had marched from Randwick to Coogee in Sydney’s east in an event co-hosted with Randwick Council this morning.
He said those present, including many police officers, pledged an oath to help reduce violence against women.
“The oath is all about never ever condoning or committing acts of violence against women in any form. It’s about having those conversations with men acting as role models for other men,” he said.
Assistant Commissioner Murdoch said domestic violence cases were the single biggest crime police attended.
Phone app hidden function to protect domestic violence victims
In a bid to help protect victims of domestic violence, a free Australian mobile phone app was been launched in time for White Ribbon Day.
Buzz News looks like a regular news app on a mobile phone, but has a hidden function that allows people to secretly contact friends and call for help.
Developed by the Lisa Harnum Foundation, the app was named after the woman who was murdered by her partner Simon Gittany in Sydney in 2011.
Foundation executive director Aileen Mountifield said the phone app could save lives.
“If a perpetrator is used to checking his partner’s phone all that will come up is news, entertainment news, sports news, local news, national news,” she said.
“So that’s a deterrent hopefully that he won’t go to the help button because under the help button she would have stored her safe contacts, so if in distress all she has to do is open the app and press send.”
A kid caught a few years back on CCTV trying to break into an old PitchnPutt venue may crack the cold case here. HIS DNA also belongs to the unidentified DNA of the man that murdered (or was present) in 1999 when Irma Palasics was bashed to death in the killers search for money and jewelery in the home…SOMEONE can help, and knows who it is! This new DNA technique could soon be solving Crimes decades old on a regular basis through the children of criminals
Make sure to watch the 60 minutes story which run last night. (2 parts down the page)
Simply put this persons father was involved. The first of the young group of fools who tried to break into PitchnPutt may be able to make 500,000 by identifying the person in the video leading to an arrest and conviction!
A murder mystery like no other – two apparently unrelated crimes, 11 years apart. One is a relatively harmless teenage prank. The other a cowardly murder of a Canberra grandmother. 72 year old Irma Palacsics was bashed and murdered in her own home in 1999. Fifteen years on, the killers probably thought they’d got away with it, but a recent break-in at a local “pitch and putt”, has this cold case warming up. Extraordinary new forensic science has linked the two crimes and, now, a son is about to betray his killer father.
New DNA technology has linked the cold-case murder of a 72-year-old woman in 1999 to a golf course burglary more than 10 years later, ACT Policing say.
Irma Palasics and her husband Gregor were bound, gagged and viciously bashed when two men broke in and ransacked their home on Grover Crescent in McKellar on November 6, 1999.
After the offenders left, Mr Palasics was able to free himself and phone police, but Mrs Palasics died from her injuries.
Mr Palasics, severely injured, traumatised and grief-stricken, died within a year.
Years later, sensitive new technology used to examine DNA evidence from the scene linked Mrs Palasics’ death to what would seem like an unconnected incident in 2010, when four teenagers broke into the Woden Pitch and Putt.
Police have revealed the DNA evidence suggested a child-parent link, between a perpetrator of the Pitch and Putt break-in and what happened at the Palasics’ home.
Senior Constable Jarryd Dunbar told Channel Nine the tests suggested the son of one of Mrs Palasics’ attackers was involved in the Pitch and Putt break-in, although there was a small possibility it could have been someone from his extended family.
He said the son was believed to have been at an 18th birthday party at the Slovenian-Australian Association across the road from the Pitch and Putt earlier that evening.
“Whoever was at that party will be able to identify who those persons are in the CCTV,” he said.
Call to Crime Stoppers ended before information was given
Police said that on October 20 this year, a man contacted Crime Stoppers and indicated he could identify people in the CCTV footage but ended the call before providing any information.
“This is a horrific crime which happened in the sanctity of someone’s own home,” Senior Constable Dunbar said.
“Come forward and give us the information we need, so the family can put this crime behind them.
“[Gregor] went to his death a few years later always with the thought in his mind that he had failed in some way as a husband and as a protector.”
Police said they were not concerned about the act of vandalism at the Pitch and Putt, and this would not be a problem for anyone considering giving information.
“We don’t want your name, we just want the information you have that could lead to any convictions,” Crime Stoppers CEO Bryan Roach said.
Police said DNA from the murder scene was also placed on Interpol database with no match.
Facefit of suspect released
Prior to her death, Irma and her husband were robbed in 1997 and again in 1998 at their old home in Pelsart Street in Red Hill.
On June 29, 1997, an excess of $100,000 in cash, numerous items of expensive jewellery and a number of Australian $200 gold coins were taken.
About a year later on October 10, 1998, two men were disturbed by Mrs Palasics in the process of a another burglary.
Mrs Palasics was assaulted and during a struggle she managed to pull the balaclava from the head of one offender before both men escaped.
Police said new DNA technology had also helped them link the man wearing the balaclava to the eventual murder scene in McKellar.
DNA taken from a number of tape lifts from the balaclava matched DNA profiles from the the Palasics’ home after the murder.
Officers said it was the first time a link had been established between the two crime scenes.
Police were told by a witness to the aggravated robbery that a man got into a 1980s model silver or blue-coloured sedan with a possibly faulty headlines and ACT rego plates on Quiros Street in Red Hill.
Officers believe this man was one of the offenders.
The witness also told police he saw a second witness walking his dog in the area, who looked about 45 to 50 years old, around 186cm tall, with a solid build, short black, curly hair and a black beard.
The man was wearing black rimmed glasses, a dark long-sleeved shirt and long pants, and was walking a tan labrador or retriever dog.
Police said they suspected all three incidents were linked and have released a computer-generated image of a suspect from the 1998 burglary.
They have also released an image of the potential witness who was walking his dog.
Witnesses urged to come forward
There is a $500,000 reward for information leading to the conviction of Mrs Palasics’ killers and police have urged people with information to come forward to help solve the crime.
Mrs Palasics’ daughter Elizabeth Mikita said the family were unable to move on without knowing her killed their mother.
“She was a lovely, caring person, much loved by her family and friends and we think about her every day,” she said.
“Her death has been devastating and while we continue to recover 15 years on, we need to know who killed her and why.
“Without answers to these questions we cannot move forward, we cannot rest and we cannot overcome our grief.”
Ms Mikita said the people who killed her mother not only took her life, but also her father’s.
“He was never the same after her death. He died believing that he had failed to protect his wife. It wasn’t his fault and he didn’t deserve to live out the final years of his life blaming himself,” she said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000, or via the website. Information can be provided anonymously.
A special phone-in to try to uncover more information about the case has been organised for Thursday – the 15th anniversary of Mrs Palasics’ death.
Irma Palasics – $500 000 reward
About 9.30pm on Saturday 6 November 1999 two men forced their way into the McKellar home of elderly couple, Gregor and Irma Palasics.
The couple were bound and savagely beaten before the men ransacked their home and stole cash and jewellery. Irma did not survive her injuries and died at the scene.
Gregor and Irma were victims of a burglary in 1997 and an aggravated burglary in 1998 when they lived in Red Hill.
During the burglary in 1997 unknown offender(s) stole a large sum of cash and jewellery.
Police suspect that a possible link exists between the burglaries in 1997 and 1998 and the home invasion (aggravated burglary) on 6 November which resulted in the murder of Irma Palasics.
60 Minutes Exclusive
or part one a part 2 here http://www.jump-in.com.au/show/60minutes/stories/2014/october/who-killed-irma/
Pitch and Putt CCTV
Public appeal video
In August 2012 police released CCTV footage of an attempted aggravated burglary at Pitch & Putt in Phillip which took place 1.50am, Sunday 16 May 2010. Five teenagers appear in the CCTV footage, showing them break into the Pitch & Putt golf course by charging at the metal roller door of the storage area.
Police believe forensic evidence links the Pitch & Putt attempted burglary with the crime scene in November 1999 which resulted in the murder of Irma Palasics.
Police are urging anyone with any information, no matter how small, to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000. Information can be provided anonymously.
A $500 000 reward is in place for information leading to the apprehension and subsequent conviction of the person(s) responsible for Irma’s murder and an appropriate indemnity from prosecution will be considered for any accomplice who first gives information.
Media releases for Irma
- Who killed Irma? ‘60 Minutes’ program reveals major developments 3 November 2014
- Police renew appeal for assistance on the anniversary of murder – 6 November 2012
- Reward increases to $500 000 as police hunt Irma Palasics’ killer – 7 September 2012
- Police uncover fresh link to 12-year-old homicide – 29 August 2012
- Palasics muder: case still open – 5 November 2001
- Murder investigation (PDF) – 8 November 1999
- Murder investigation (PDF) – 7 November 1999
Legislation announced today has been named Daniel’s Law after Queensland teenager Daniel Morcombe, who was murdered in 2003 by a convicted sex offender on parole.
Although details have not been finalised, it was believed all of the information published about a sex offender would be publicly accessible.
The NT Criminal Lawyers Association slammed the idea, saying naming and shaming made it harder for offenders to rehabilitate without making anyone safer.
Western Australia has an online sex register but access has several tiers of restrictions.
It is not yet clear how approximate the location information for the NT register will be. Mr Elferink said the website would include the “regional whereabouts”.
We truly hope that the introduction of Daniel’s Law will prevent another family going through the pain and grief we experienced following Daniel’s death.Bruce and Denise Morcombe
“We’ll list them by geographical region reasonably close to where [people] live. It is not a system of exact addresses,” he said.
“They will be able to see who the sexual predators are in the community. They’ll be able to recognise the sexual predators and protect their children.
“We believe that the public’s right to know takes precedence over the privacy concerns for serious sex offenders.
“The initiative will allow individuals and families to familiarise themselves with important details and be more vigilant about named serious sex offenders living in and around the area.”
Daniel’s Law modelled on Megan’s Law in US
The NT chose to pursue its own legislation after a proposed national sex offenders register was knocked back at the recent Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting, according to Mr Elferink.
“From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so,” he said.
“Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.
“There is no guarantee a website would have protected Daniel. We know we should pull out all stops as a society and as a community to create for parents an environment to protect their children.”
He said the NT system would be modelled on Megan’s Law in the United States – the informal name for sex offender registration and community notification laws, which have been passed at US federal and state levels.
However, unlike Megan’s Law, Daniel’s Law will not list offenders’ exact address.
The Attorney-General said the Government had not yet decided on the definition of “serious sex offender”.
“We’ll create a definition which is appropriate and then have further flexible arrangements to make sure the right people are placed on our serious sex offenders website.”
He said parents were in a better position to protect their child when they were armed with detailed information.
“While the Northern Territory Police will continue to track and monitor around 200 sex offenders in the community, this tool is designed to deliver information to the community about the most serious offenders in an easy, user-friendly way,” he said.
‘You’d hate to be the last state to have a register’
Daniel’s parents Bruce and Denise Morcombe, who have been calling for the introduction of a national child sex offender register, said they hoped the NT register would spread across the country.
“Of course sometimes one can imagine the paedophiles and the predators on the NT sex offenders register may well not want to be in the NT any longer,” Mr Morcombe said.
“They may migrate to other states and territories.
“You’d hate to be the last state to have a sex offenders register up and running. You’re going to get truckloads of people you don’t want in your state.”
The couple, who were in Darwin for the announcement, said they commended the NT’s decision.
“The NT has taken a leadership step,” Mr Morcombe said. “They were the first to do so.
“This is for ordinary Australians. It is to get the good people at arms length from the predators.
“We want protection for our kids.
“Daniel’s Law we are confident will assist in the mission to make sure kids of Australia are safe.
“We think it is breathtakingly simple but at the end of the day will make a massive difference for children right around the country.
“I am sure the feedback from that will migrate to other states and they’ll say, ‘Why not us?'”
Daniel disappeared when he was 13 while waiting for a bus at Woombye on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast in 2003.
His remains were found in bushland eight years later.
His convicted killer, Brett Peter Cowan, had a long history of sexually abusing children.
He had been arrested and sentenced in 1989 for two years in jail after molesting a boy in a public toilets.
Four years later, while living in a caravan park in Darwin, Cowan attacked a six-year-old boy. He later pleaded guilty to gross indecency, grievous bodily harm and deprivation of liberty.
He was sentenced to seven years’ jail and released on parole four years later.
‘Terrible idea will turn people into vigilantes’
Public online sex registers make it harder for offenders to rehabilitate, increase the chance they will re-offend, and do not make anyone safer, according to NT Criminal Lawyers Association president Russell Goldflam.
He said the NT Government’s proposal was “terrible”.
From our perspective if it’s not done at a Commonwealth level then we’re going to do it in the NT and proudly so. Does a government make this information available or not? The answer from the NT is ‘yes, yes we do’.John Elferink, NT Attorney-General
“Laws like this have been tried in the US, mainly over the last couple of decades,” he said. “They don’t result in anyone being safer or the level of recidivism being decreased.
“There are some real costs. They are expensive to run but more importantly is they can get in the way of people being rehabilitated.
“This can result in people going underground instead of engaging with those who can assist them to stop reoffending
“In a place like the the NT we expect anyone who is going to be put on the register will leave the NT and go somewhere else. That doesn’t help anybody. It just makes it harder to keep track of them.”
He said the system would further stigmatise, prejudice and stereotype convicted sex offenders.
“A very significant range of laws operate to protect the community from people who may be at risk of reoffending,” he said. “There is already a register, already a provision for for identifying offenders, already laws to detain serious repeat sex offenders.
“Where these laws have been passed in the US – and they have in some places included exact places where people live – vigilantes have murdered people on the list or people they believe are on the list, even if they weren’t child sex offenders.
“The Attorney-General says this will make people be more vigilant.
“Our concern is this will make more people into vigilantes.”
Courtesy of Australian Women’s Weekly…
Toni McHugh: ‘My future with Gerard included his children’
The mistress of convicted wife-killer Gerard Baden-Clay believed she would eventually build a life with him and his three young daughters.
In an exclusive interview with The Australian Women’s Weekly, Toni McHugh has opened up about how she and the now convicted murderer had high hopes of setting up house together and getting shared custody of his children.
McHugh, who was engaged in a four year affair with Baden-Clay when he violently killed his wife of 14 years, Allison Baden-Clay, says she always considered the couple’s children when they discussed a life together.
“The future I was planning with Gerard, it actually included them. It included Allison! I thought we would all get to the point where we all, you know, shared custody, like adults and got on,” she told The Weekly.
The former real estate salesperson also shared unsettling details about the moment she came close to Allison’s body.
“We drove over that bridge, and she was under there, and later that day, maybe around noon, we heard a woman’s body has been found, and I knew straight away – instantly – that it was Allison,” Ms McHugh said.
When asked whether or not she felt responsible for Allison’s untimely death, McHugh, who describes herself as ‘Australia’s Monica Lewinsky’ – the most famous White House intern in history, said ‘No’.
“It is horrible to have it said that you are the motive (for murder),” she said.
“But no, I’m sorry, he wasn’t thinking about me. He was thinking about himself.”
While McHugh admits she’s still trying to come to terms with what’s happened, she is now planning to write a book about the case.
“I’m the only one who can tell this story,” she said.
Gerard Baden-Clay was sentenced to life in prison with a minimum of 15 years behind bars for killing Allison and dumping her body in Brisbane’s Kholo Creek.
Read more of this story in the August issue of The Australian Women’s Weekly.